Sydney, New South Wales

Don't let Bento Ya's modest interior put you off, this St Leonards eatery brings a whole new meaning to the concept of Japanese bento boxes. Humbly located within a cottage nearby to the station, this cosy dinner offers something for everyone, with an eccentric selection of noodles, sizzling plates and katsu curries alongside its sushi and sashimi bento's. Best of all, it's just as easy to eat your bento box on the train as it is in the restaurant.

32 Chandos Street
St Leonards
Tel: +61 2 9437 5666
Asian, Japanese
Price Range:
$$$$ ~ $$$$
$$$$ = Mains under $20
$$$$ = Mains $20 - $30
$$$$ = Mains $30 - $40
$$$$ = Mains over $40
Let's get one thing out of the way: you do not come to Bento Ya for the decor. Not that it's unpleasant; the cosy cottage that houses the restaurant has its charms – a welcoming two bedroom dining room with a fireplace and a palm-lined outdoor courtyard. However, it also has white metal chairs with covers that bare a disturbing resemblance to those of Sydney busses (blue and speckled), fake bamboo painted (or stuck) onto windows and walls decorated with whiteboards and frames of food pictures and specials. But while the fit-out is a bit shy of flashy, the food is good. In fact, it is very, very, very good.

As the name suggests, this is the place to come for Japanese bento boxes – there are 50 on offer for lunch and 47 for dinner. For each bento, diners select one of thirteen dishes to make up the main part – choices range from chilli chicken to tonkatsu and mixed tempura to salmon teriyaki, just to name a few – and complement this with two smaller dishes (such as sashimi, gyoza, takoyaki), a salad, rice and a miso soup. If that sounds like a lot of food, it is. So if you're not up to eating your own weight in delicious Japanese fare, there are also smaller (though not by much) meal options such as various dons, fried noodles, teriyaki and katsu sets, okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes), sizzling barbecue, udon, rolls, sushi and sashimi, as well as salads and some twelve types of entree. In contrast to the food, the drinks list is modest – soft drink, juice, tea and water – but you can BYO wine for free. The best part however, is that the most you'll pay for a meal is $19.50 with the majority of dishes falling below $15.
Agnes Gajewska
This restaurant has not scheduled any events.
Please contact the restaurant for further information.
Cheap & Cheerful
Outdoor Dining
Suitable for Families with children
Suitable for Groups of 10
This restaurant does not have any awards.
32 Chandos Street
St Leonards NSW 2065
A five-minute walk from St Leonards station in a little cottage on Chandos Street.
There are no recommendations for this restaurant.
HAVE YOU DINED AT Bento Ya?Write your review
Best Restaurants of Australia invites your comments on your dining experience.
You are welcome to share your views with our many readers under our conditions of use*.
(will be displayed on the site)
(will NOT be displayed on the site)
Boo - 11/06/2013
My family come here regularly for dinner - the staff is friendly, and there is a large selection of dishes to choose from. It is cheap, and the portions are very generous. The bentos are varied and plentiful, the gyoza deliciously crisp, and their seafood udon is the best I've ever had. Their okonomiyaki is likewise delicious.
lan - 29/08/2012
Great price, taste(salmon sashimi seafood okonomiyaki)
S29 - 7/08/2012
Really-really average, was very quiet on Monday night which is fine, however we waited approx 30 mins before the bentos are served (main meal).
mfong - 3/07/2012
After I have try it, it is not the best of taste, service and price that I expected.
Gidgit - 2/03/2012
Fantastic food and only went to this restaurant based on the reviews. I was not let down. I took my parents and husband and we all loved our dinner so much we went back two nights after. Plus as mentioned it was very cheap for the amount and quality of food we recieved. I would tell anyone that loves good Japanese food to try out Bento Ya.
de Groots Best Restaurants of Australia © de Groots Media 1996 - 2016